In line with our vision of children becoming their best selves, at our school, writing is of paramount importance within a broad and balanced curriculum which fosters the love of learning. Children are encouraged to aim high in everything they do and show resilience when tackling difficult tasks. Our aim is to ensure that every child within our school, regardless of background and potential difficulty, leaves us as a competent writer with an understanding of the conventions of Standard English and when to use it effectively. This ability to write with confidence for a range of purposes and audiences, ensures that children leave Thurgoland fully prepared for their secondary education, ready to achieve their aspirations and thrive in their adult life.
At Thurgoland School, we have a rigorous and well organised English curriculum that provides many purposeful opportunities for reading, writing and discussion. Our English units are driven by high-level, age appropriate texts which are chosen by teachers and overseen by the subject lead. Units of work follow non-negotiable steps which allow teachers to plan fun and engaging lessons working toward a clear end of unit outcome. Each lesson builds up with clear progression to add to the children’s writing toolkit therefore preparing them to be able to write successfully in many different genres. Each unit will include embedded grammar lessons; vocabulary and sentence work; and many opportunities to promote speaking and listening skills. We also provide a wealth of enrichment opportunities, including visits, visitors, artefacts, drama and texts to support children’s enjoyment and learning in English and inspire their work. Writing is taught explicitly in daily literacy lessons and skills learned are regularly reinforced within lessons across the curriculum. Using a combination of novels, film, poetry and relevant real life events, learning is fun, meaningful and memorable. Throughout each unit of work, teachers will prepare WAGOLL pieces to set expectations and to show high-quality modelling within in each genre. Children will also participate in shared writing opportunities before their independent pieces. The National Curriculum states that spoken language underpins the development of reading and writing and, with oracy being such a high priority for children at Thurgoland Primary School, we provide discussion opportunities in every lesson. Repeated practice of writing genres ensures that pupils leave our school capable of writing for different audiences and purposes.
From the regular monitoring of plans, books and pupil and staff voice, it is clear that writing is taught in a progressive way, with the building up of skills to ensure children have the appropriate tool kit to be successful writers and that learning is memorable. Children enjoy talking about their writing – about its construction, purpose and effect on the reader. Staff set high expectations for the children and they are confident to share their writing with staff and each other. All writing units are planned with a clear intention and with an audience in mind. They ensure that learning objectives provide opportunities to build up the children’s skills in order to ensure they are able to write in a variety of genres independently. Editing work regularly ensures that writing is presented at its best and key features are included. Children achieve well at the end of both Key stages and leave Thurgoland with a secure understanding of writing and are well prepared to meet the needs of a challenging secondary curriculum and the expectations of writing across all subjects. Teachers use age appropriate assessment statements alongside a range of the child’s writing to monitor progress and assess them at key points throughout the school year. This information is shared with children and parents three times per academic year. The English lead and Head Teacher monitor the teaching and learning of writing frequently to ensure that standards remain consistently high and to identify areas for ongoing CPD.
Values that are at the heart of Thurgoland